Friday, 21 July 2017

Interview | Strongman James Landless

Source: Power News by World Heavy Events Association

This weekend James Landless competes in the BNSF Britain's Strongest Man. I have been working with James on the run up to this competition to help manage his physical condition and enhance performance. Here I interview James on his journey so far... 

1. Tell us about yourself. 

Well I'm a stone mason through the day and a strongman at night so they go hand in hand with each other. Each one helping the other. Strength helps when I’m working, and stamina, flexibility and moving awkward objects helps the strongman training . But my hobby is definitely my sport. Outside of strongman training I enjoy socialising with friends.

2. Tell us about the highlight of your strongman career so far.

I was drawn to the sport accidentally as I had always fancied doing some sort of competition to push myself and I wasn't too keen on the dieting phase for bodybuilding. So I thought I would have a go at strongman.
The highlight of my career would have to be when I won northern England's strongest natural man for the first time. It came as a shock moving straight from novice level to a high level of competition. At that time I had only been training for 6 months as a strongman and was quite raw on all the events.

3. As Strongman training consists of a lot of lifting already, what type of supplementary training do you find necessary to do? What benefits have you seen from this training? 

I find that I benefit mostly by training body parts like a bodybuilder would. For example I would train back by itself and hit deadlift as a compound movement and pick 2-3 movements that would assist in building the back and strengthening the deadlift. For example I would warm up on pulldowns, and deadlifts reps and sets would vary week to week . Then I'd hit heavy barbell rows, pull ups and then maybe if I was feeling like I wanted a bit more, I would do some hyper-extensions.

4. What is your top tip for recovery?

My best advice for recovery would be eat, sleep, stretch and relax . My training has been full on for 18 months now and I've realised that you need to switch off from it and still make time for family and friends. Don't worry about being a bit rough the next day and not being able to eat a big breakfast. Building strength is a long process so balance is the key to consistent training for progression in the sport.

5. Can you summarise your own personal approach to training and nutrition?

My personal approach to training and nutrition is to look at my upcoming competition, try and separate all the events into training days to suit body parts. Then I’ll programme a session on a weekend where I do a couple of movement events - something like stones or another loading event. 
As far as nutrition goes I take it day by day aiming to hit around 50g protein per meal and some healthy carbs and maybe a bit of fat.

6. You used to compete in American Football. What have you learnt by playing the game and is there anything you feel you have reapplied when competing as a Strongman?

From playing American football I learned to be able to switch on and switch off quickly which is great for strongman. Strongman competitions are quite long and usually only consist of 5-6 events so you need to be able to switch on, smash it, then switch of after to conserve energy and focus your mind on the next event.

7. Your next competition is this weekend! Can you tell us a little about how you have been preparing for this competition? 

I'm preparing for my next competition by just slowly increasing weight so I peak at the comp weights in competition. I take a laid-back approach and am very careful in what I do. As soon as I get the events through for a competition I will not do any unnecessary exercises or activities to avoid injury.

 8. Do you have any future plans or goals within the sport of Strongman? 

My main goal is to win Britain’s Strongest Natural Man just once then I will retire from that organisation, take a year off while dropping around 3 stone (just to make normal life/work easier). Then I will focus on more of a power-lifting style training week e.g. deadlifts, squats and pressing (this will be the main focus) and maybe once a month or so do a light run through of strongman events to keep my hand in it.

Good luck to James this weekend competing! I am sure he will absolutely smash it!

If you fancy going to watch this competition then click here to find the details.

Watch James lift on his Instagram account here.  

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